We’ve all been here: staring at our phone, wondering how to compose a perfect text that will release you from plans that evening. Your friends get it. Everyone needs a break every now and then. Everyone gets sick occasionally. Sometimes, we’re just not that into the plans we made with friends. Life happens, but let’s be real – making flaking a habit can totally mess up your friendships.
Flaking on friends on the reg can do more than earn yourself an unflattering nickname. Ditching plans too often can harm your friendships in several ways:
1. You’re missing out. Do you ever agree to plans made a few weeks or more in advance, and then the day of start having regrets? Me too. Do you ever force yourself to go and have a good time anyway? Usually, yes! Sometimes at the end of a long week you might feel tired, but if you don’t have a concrete reason not to stick to your plans, don’t rob yourself of some much-needed fun time!
2. Your friends are missing out. Have you ever canceled plans only to discover later that meant your friends didn’t go either? Maybe you were their ride, the only person they knew going to the party, or really made plans just because they wanted to see you! Ugh, guilt trip.
3. Hangouts get less and less frequent. If you regularly flake on friends, they’ll start to recognize the pattern. You could find yourself getting left out. Not because you aren’t wanted, but more likely because it’s assumed that you won’t come anyway. If your friends can only count on you canceling at the last minute, sometimes its easier to not count on you at all.
4. You’re not there when you’re needed most. Flaky friends that aren’t reliable when things are going well are certainly not expected to be around when things get bad. When your friends really need someone, being the unreliable one leaves you the last one to call when the going gets rough. Even if you know you would drop everything for your girl, how’s she supposed to?
“But Janelle, sometimes I really can’t make it and have to cancel last minute!!” Once again, life happens. Gracefully bowing out because you’re legitimately sick, have car trouble, etc. won’t ruin friendships. If you find yourself canceling plans, or dreading them all the time, there are two really simple things you can do to avoid being the flake.
1. Make plans you won’t dread. When making plans, if it really doesn’t sound like something you’re into, opt out and explain why. For example, my friends often host game nights. I often went, but realized that I just don’t like playing board games for hours on end. I started to dread game nights and felt like I needed an excuse not to go. Well, it turns out when you explain that you aren’t interested in playing board games all night, that’s totally understandable! My friends now know that it’s not something I would be super interested in, and I don’t have to come up with an excuse to flake on or leave game night early.
2. When you do make plans, keep them. You made you made your bed. If you said “yeah, that sounds great!”, you are obligated to give it a shot. If your only reason for not going is that you don’t want to put on pants, you better suck it up! You might actually enjoy yourself. If not, you can say “thanks, but no, thanks!” next time.
How do you deal with a flaky friend?